NEW DELHI: The Congress high command has reportedly given shape to a plan that allows warring Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan to bury the hatchet in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections. The plan entails giving the post of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president to Pilot. The decision has been conveyed to Chief Minister Gehlot.
The CM is said to have expressed some unease. The current PCC chief, Govind Singh Dotasra, is a Jat. Gehlot says Dotasra’s presence as PCC chief will draw the Jats towards the Congress because the BJP recently removed Satish Poonia, also a Jat, as its state president. If Dotasra too goes, the Congress may fail to tap the Jat anger with the BJP, Gehlot is said to have reasoned.
Congress insiders say the party has told Gehlot he can appoint a Jat as the state’s deputy CM to take care of the community’s sentiments. The party has given Gehlot a free hand to choose a Jat leader as his deputy. Dotasra, a Gehlot loyalist, is the front-runner for the post.
According to sources, Pilot, who has been on the warpath against Gehlot, has agreed to bury the hatchet and accept the post of PCC chief until the upcoming Assembly elections. Rajasthan’s elections are due in December, and the Congress central leadership is keen to resolve the differences between its two top leaders in the state. Party leaders feel like in Karnataka, where Congress managed to win the election by bringing the two top leaders Siddaramaiah and D K Shivakumar together, it is important to get Gehlot and Pilot on the same page to make a serious bid to retain power in Rajasthan.
Sources said talks with both leaders have been going on for some time, and the groundwork for an agreement has been done. Party president Mallikarjun Kharge will soon meet the two leaders after which the peace formula will be announced. Among Pilot’s demands is compensation for students affected by a paper leak and restructuring of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission.
Panel on Raje graft
As sought by Pilot, panel is likely to be set up to probe charges of alleged corruption by the previous Vasundhara Raje government of the BJP